Separation of church and state The separation of church and state is a philosophic and jurisprudential concept for defining political distance in the relationship between religious organizations and the state. Conceptually, the term refers to the creation of a … Continue reading
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Treena again does an excellent job of pointing out error and deception. https://bewareofthewolves.blogspot.com/2018/09/david-nathan-thrown-under-bus-by-jacob.html UPDATED 10-13-18 Please note further information added at the end of this article, thank you Treena. David Nathan (Bread of Life Ministries) has recently … Continue reading
We should pray for the people of Japan in the aftermath of the earthquake and the tsunamis which left this nation in devastation. Earthquakes and tsunamis are events that should bring us to our knees in repentance (Luke 13:2-5), or at least cause us to pause and reflect on the judgments of God upon humanity for our lack of repentance. This event will either harden hearts more toward God, or by God’s grace will break them with contriteness—there is no neutral response. When we view pictures and video of the devastation they remind us of how fragile we really are. We should understand how our reliance upon things can easily be wiped out. It should humble Humanity, especially how we so easily love to elevate our “greatness” instead of acknowledging God’s. As we have seen in recent days, the disturbing phenomena and violence of tsunamis strikes terror in the hearts of people.
Through the events in Japan we see the future prophetic events spoken of by our Lord Jesus Christ casting their shadow upon us. Since coming events cast their shadows beforehand, when we see these things begin to come to pass we know that Christ’s coming will be soon. The budding of the fig tree (Matt 24:32-35) for instance, has been interpreted as a symbol of the restoration of the nation of Israel (which has come to pass). The phrase “and all the trees” (v. 29 KJV ) may indicate the growth of nationalism among the nations of the world. And in recent years, we have certainly seen a tremendous increase in nationalism.1 “This generation vs.34” refers to the generation alive when all these things take place.1
In the future, just before the Day of the Lord there will be a cluster of celestial and earthly disturbances that will act as a prelude warning to the Day of the Lord.
The sixth seal informs us that there will be this “huge earthquake” accompanied by a cluster of catastrophic celestial signs:
“Then I looked when the Lamb opened the sixth seal, and a huge earthquake took place; the sun became as black as sackcloth made of hair, and the full moon became blood red;” – Rev 6:11-12
And I don’t believe this will be some regional earthquake; instead, it will be global, since “every mountain” will be moved from its place. Given the magnitude of this earthquake, it makes perfect sense why the Bible employs tsunami language in two passages on the sign of the Day of the Lord:
“And there will be signs in the sun and moon and stars, and on the earth nations will be in distress, anxious over the roaring of the sea and the surging waves” – Luke 21:25. The Greek describes the surging waves as the tossing or swell of the sea. These cataclysmic events are not simply metaphors; they will actually happen. These signs signal the end of the age simultaneously extinguishing all natural lights in the heavens, plunging the earth into total darkness. Accompanying this celestial sign the earth will experience worldwide earthquakes causing tsunamis mankind has never witness before.
Nations do not “distress” over mere ten foot waves. This will be global tsunamis on a massive scale. Interestingly, the Greek term for “surging waves” (salos) can mean “earthquake.” Also, the text indicates that the nations on the earth are not so much distressed and anxious over the celestial signs as much as they are with the roaring of the sea and surging waves.
The other text is Rev 6:14b:
“and [every] island was moved from its place.”
Again, mere ten foot waves do not accomplish this. No wonder Scripture prophecies that “people will be fainting from fear and from the expectation of what is coming on the world.” When these bewildering events occurs, unbelieving mankind will panic and desperately seek hiding places among the rocks and in caves because they will then know with horrifying certainty that the wrath of God is about to commence.
This is a sober truth. Do not fall into the Amos syndrome, in which his audience was deceptively self-assured that they were right with God and that the Day of the Lord was for those “other people.” “Woe to those who wish for the day of the LORD! Why do you want the LORD’s day of judgment to come? – Amos 5:18 Today is the day for self-examination.
However, the signs given for the end of the age and for Christ’s return will have different effects on different individuals. For those who have chosen to worship Satan’s king, they will be gripped by incredible fear. But for those who have chosen to be true to Christ, God’s King, they will know incredible joy. Charles Haddon Spurgeon showed a remarkable understanding concerning the relationship of these events and summed them up beautifully. The following are excerpts from his sermon entitled “Joyful Anticipation of the Second Advent.”
“I must leave this first point, concerning the terrible time [a time of fearful national trouble] when this precept is to be carried out, by just reminding you that, when the Lord Jesus Christ shall come, the heavens shall tell us: “There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars.”…Now I come to the remarkable precept itself: “Then look up, and lift up your heads.”…Let there be no looking down because the earth is quaking and shaking, but let there be a looking up because you are going to rise from it; no looking down because the graves are opening; why should you look down? You will quit the grave, never more to die. “Lift up your heads.” The time for you to hang your heads, like bulrushes, is over already, and will certainly be over when the Lord is coming, and your redemption draweth nigh. Wherefore, “look up, and lift up your heads.”2
Wiersbe, W. W. 1997, c1992. Wiersbe’s expository outlines on the New Testament . Victor Books: Wheaton, Ill.
2The Treasury of the New Testament, vol. 2, “Joyful Anticipation of the Second Advent,” Luke 21:28-31 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, n.d.), p. 130.
3Written by Alan Kurschner on 03/11/11 Edited, Changed and expounded on by Myself.
Many Christians have been deceived into believing that they can somehow “convert” the kingdoms of this world to become the Kingdom of God. In the process they have put their energy and hopes into bringing about the Kingdom of God by working towards getting more influence with government in order to transform government. Some even believe that Jesus will return once we have transformed the world and created the millennial Kingdom.
This presupposes that the Kingdom of God is a better version of or improved earthly kingdom. But what does the Bible have to say about this?
The first mention of a subject in the Bible is often very significant for an understanding of that topic. The first mention of the word “kingdom” is in Genesis 10:10 when it says of Nimrod that “the beginning of his kingdom was Babel.” It was at Babel that the tower was built that was intended to reach to Heaven and that to this day remains the prime example of man’s pride, self-sufficiency and rebellion against God. Babel was the precursor and type of Babylon, the false world system and religion, which is the domain of the Antichrist (Revelation 17 & 18). It was at Babel that God brought division between the nations and broke their rebellious unity.
Furthermore it is remarkable and significant that the last time the word “kingdom” is mentioned is in Revelation 17:17 where it says that the world rulers will “be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast.” This will bring the world full-circle where they once again are united against God and once again establish Babel/Babylon.
The fact that the first and last mention of the word “kingdom” both relate to the false world system which is united in its rejection of God and that both speak of that which is man-made with an emphasis on man rather than God is not coincidental. By definition any kingdom built by man is anti-god and anti-Christ. The kingdoms of this world have never been, are not and never will be God’s Kingdom. They have different kings, different citizens, function by different principles and have different goals.
When Satan tempted Jesus he “showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.” (Luke 4:5-6). Jesus did not deny that this was in the Devil’s power to do and thus He acknowledges that the kingdoms of the world do indeed belong to the Devil. There are many theories as to how and when the Devil acquired them, but the fact remains that they are his to give. Several
times Jesus refers to the Devil as “the ruler of this world” John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11), confirming Satan’s dominion here on earth.
Many Christians feel that things changed after the Cross and that the Kingdoms of the world are now under God’s control. But Paul (after the Cross) still refers to Satan as “the god of this world (age)” (2Corinthinas 4:4). John (also after the Cross) states emphatically that “the whole world lies under the sway (NIV – “control”) of the wicked one” (1John 5:19). Thus the Devil is clearly the one who is in control of the world, its systems and its governments. Romans 13 says that authorities are appointed by God and that they are God’s servants or ministers. This does not mean that they are godly, they clearly are not. Nevertheless God uses them to accomplish His purposes (Revelation 17:17).
At no stage do the kingdoms of the world morph into the Kingdom of God. There is not a single Scripture to support this popular misconception. The kingdoms of this world are so evil that they are completely destroyed (Daniel 2 and Revelation 18) and they will be replaced by God’s Kingdom. This will be a work of God and not of man or the church. “The God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever” (Daniel 2:44). (See also Revelation 18 and 19).
Just like many Christians today, Jesus’ disciples also did not understand the difference between God’s Kingdom and political kingdoms. They too thought that Jesus would merge His followers with the world’s kingdoms and thus bring about His Kingdom. But in response to these ideas Jesus clearly said to them: “indeed, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21). In other words His Kingdom is spiritual and in the hearts of His people while the world’s kingdoms are political and have physical boundaries. (His Kingdom will ultimately become a physical kingdom, known as the Millennial Kingdom, but as said above, that will come about in a single cataclysmic event when He sets up His Kingdom.)
When Pilate questioned Jesus about His Kingdom, Jesus explicitly stated “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). It cannot be clearer than that. Jesus is indeed a King and He has a Kingdom, but it is not of this world. The god and ruler of this world and its kingdoms is Satan. These two kingdoms do not overlap, they do not merge and the one does not become the other. They are totally different in substance and have different kings.
These two kingdoms have different destinies. The kingdom of Satan will be destroyed. This means that its ruler, all its systems as well as its citizens will be destroyed. It has no future. No matter what man does to build his towers, hierarchies and empires into the heavens, they will be destroyed and brought to nothing, just like Nimrod’s Babel.
God’s Kingdom, on the other hand, is an eternal kingdom. “Of His kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:33) and “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever” (Hebrews 1:8). It will never be destroyed and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.
When Moses was growing up in the courts of Egypt, Egypt seemed to be an indestructible world empire. There was no end to its power, wealth and influence. Egypt, and later Babylon, Greece and Rome, were true world kingdoms, more than any modern empire. Egypt’s knowledge, art, engineering and political power were dazzling in their brilliance to the extent that we, thousands of year later, still marvel at their glories.
When God began to speak to Moses about a greater Kingdom which could only be seen afar off, it is to be expected that Moses could have thought of God’s promises only in terms of an improved Egypt. God had, after all, used Egypt once before to save the world! Maybe we could excuse Moses if he thought of the Kingdom in terms of Canaan, but he looked beyond that to a “heavenly country” (Hebrews 11:16).
When Moses finally had to make a choice he esteemed “the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:26-27).
If Moses could see the invisible King beyond the glory of Pharaoh, and if he placed his vote with the Eternal, how is it then, that so many Christians keep placing their hope in the wrong kingdom?
To read Anton Bosch’s Article Click here
“Now as he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age? And Jesus answered and said to them: Take heed that no one deceives you.“
In the last article, “Exploring Prophecy: The Question” We looked at the Disciples question concerning the Second Coming of Christ and the end of the age. Here in the Olivet Discourse Jesus sketches the prevailing conditions of the present age down to the very end, culminating with the Day of the Lord when God will judge the earth and Jesus will vanquish the Antichrist and the false prophet throwing them into the lake of fire at Armageddon. We see here where Jesus beginning his discourse, answers the disciples question with a solemn warning to “Take heed that no one deceives you.” This describes that which is closest to Jesus’ heart concerning His people, deception. Jesus above all others, understands the power and destructiveness of deception. The very purpose for His coming was because of the deception that began in the garden thrusting all of humanity into spiritual depravity. Because of deception, all of humanity is at enmity with God, disobedient, and by nature are children of wrath. “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ” – Ephesians 2:4-5.
Deception has eternal consequences, and there are as many forms of deception as there are faces in the world. Anyone of us are capable of either deceiving or being deceived. “Deception is a cruel act…It often has many players on different stages that corrode the soul” – Donna A. Favors. Deception begins with one first deceiving one’s self, and always ends by deceiving others. Religious impostors will always steadily degenerate, and with them, those who follow them. Paul told Timothy, “but evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived” – 2 Timothy 3:13. Is it any wonder why Jesus began with such a warning to “Take heed?” It is safe to say that Jesus’ warning that no one deceive you includes yourself.
The only way to be true to oneself is to be truthful with God, trusting in and relying on His Spirit and His Word to guide you into truth. I have discovered Confession is the best way to hamper the deception of oneself if you understand that confession is agreeing with God, meeting Him on His terms. Jesus gives an example with the Pharisee and the tax collector who went up to the temple to pray. “The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, God, be merciful to me a sinner! I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” – Luke 18:11-14. Who was deceived? Confessing truthfully to God diminishes self deception, while comparing yourself to others only leaves you praying with yourself, God is nowhere to be found.
The question which begs answering is, “Why such an urgent warning?” The next verse gives the answer, “For many will come in My name, saying, I am the Christ, and will deceive many” – Matthew 24:5. To understand the magnitude of this religious deception several points must be considered which will open our understanding as to just how nefarious these spoken of here are. First, they come “In Jesus’ name.” Because they come in His name with the intent to deceive shows us they will misrepresent Christ. Secondly, they say, “I am Christ.” The Greek word Christos means, anointed. It is clear by the text that the “many” who come in Jesus’ name are not saying they are Messiah, but rather, they are “anointed” as they come “In His Name” claiming special anointing. One does not come in the name of another claiming to be the one who’s name they invoke. Another way of looking at it is, they will claim the same anointing as Christ himself alleging equality with Jesus.
There are two facets to consider here, The first is the counterfeit Christianity Jesus is describing here, the other is the antichrist himself. One is a system, the other is a person. We have several examples in Scripture which go hand in hand with this thought. The parable of the Wheat and Tares (Matthew 13:24-30) tells us that through Church history and unto the consummation of the age the true Church (Wheat) will be intermingled with the counterfeit (Tares). Tares were very common in Palestine and closely resemble wheat, they are not really distinguishable from the wheat until the grain appears at harvest time. Interesting is the fruit of the tare which is black and poisonous. It will be at the end of the age where the two (wheat and tares) will be separated. The fundamental difference between true Christianity and the Counterfeit is the true will always point to Jesus Christ preaching repentance toward God and faith toward Jesus Christ. The Counterfeit on the other hand draws men after themselves looking for quick results that require little sacrifice. Nor will they care for the flock of God. Paul exhorted the Ephesian elders that savage wolves would come in among them not sparing the flock of God. And also from among themselves men would rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves (Acts 20:17-30).
Satan has always tried to get a foothold on the Church and has been successful through his emissaries posing as ministers of the Gospel. Many falsely boast of their superiority to the foundational Apostles and Scripture categorizes them as “false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works” – 2 Corinthians 11:13-15. The Greek word for this transformation of Satan and his agents of deceit exposes them as schemers, people who disguise their real agenda by masquerading as ministers of the Lord Jesus Christ. Anywhere in the New Testament where you see “false brethren,” “false prophets,” and “false apostles,” be assured that Satan is at work. It is Satan’s desire to dominate the Church. The seven letters to the seven churches recorded in Revelation 2-3 demonstrates this as the Churches were infiltrated with the doctrines of Balaam and the Nicolaitans. The name “Jezebel” appears as a doctrine to seduce God’s people into both a literal and spiritual fornication. Satan or “devil” is used no less than five times in the seven letters. It becomes clear that Satan dwelt within the churches as we see “Satan’s throne,” “where Satan dwells,” “the depths of Satan,” and the “synagogue of Satan” in opposition to the Church. The spiritual war, the race to be run that Scripture speaks about is within the church walls, not the world. And the conflict will continue until the Return of Jesus Christ. This is why Jesus told His Disciples to “Take heed, that no one deceive you.” In the context of Matthew 24 it is those within the church who will become the apostate, who will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, who will betray one another and hate one another (Matt. 24:11-12). I comes upon the true church to watch, to take heed the warning Jesus gave to the church and to be sober and vigilant, watching as that day may be soon upon us.